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Education Correspondent

Correspondent - Education (K-12 & Higher Ed)
Location: Santa Cruz, Calif.

Lookout is looking for a correspondent that can deeply report on and understand the issues and impacts of education on citizens, students, parents and educators in Santa Cruz County. We are looking for someone that can utilize the power of online journalism -- words, images, video and graphics -- to fully tell the story of our region, with a particular emphasis on student success and equity. We are a solutions-journalism oriented newsroom, focused on making our region a better place to live.

The correspondent will cover UC Santa Cruz, Cabrillo College as well as public and private K-12 schools and districts throughout the county. This beat requires a mix of day-to-day stories as well as longer and more in-depth pieces explaining education in the (hopefully) post-pandemic world.

We seek correspondents who are enthused about being part of a new model of community-centric, mobile-first, topically knowledgeable, intensely local journalism in Santa Cruz County. Lookout’s correspondents are the prominent public face of Lookout in all the diverse communities we serve.

The education correspondent will aim to meet readers’ needs in multiple ways, from quick, useful, information hits to in-depth reporting, providing actionable service journalism for Lookout’s readers, smartly and creatively using multiple engagement channels to connect with audiences

Lookout firmly believes that only certain stories require the traditional narrative “story” treatment — especially in the digital era. And those are the important ones with critical human voices and touch points. The vast majority of stories are more consumable — particularly on mobile (where Lookout derives 70% of its traffic) — in other forms. Such as:

  • Explainers/101s: Here’s what you need to know about X and why
  • Q&As: This person’s voice is important enough that it stands on its own
  • FAQs: Great for explaining how things affect people or in situations where people are confused and want answers
  • By the numbers: Building a narrative surrounding the major numbers that stand out in a story.
  • Fact Check: People are buzzing about something; we ferret out some truth for them.

If this sounds like you, send a resume and cover letter to jobs@lookoutlocal.com that addresses the following:

  • Your experience in writing and producing multimedia journalism.
  • Why an education beat interests you and how you would approach it.
  • Your knowledge of the area or, if you’re not local, how you would educate yourself.

Correspondents are full-time employees. We offer a highly competitive salary and benefits. As we are looking for people who are true voices of the community, the position is in-person and remote work is not being considered.

Experience & skills:

  • Rock-solid journalism judgment, intuition and taste.
  • A minimum of two years of professional (post-collegiate) experience
  • Experience and comfort with the pace of digital-first journalism, and the digital technologies that power it.
  • Ability to engage diverse local communities in Lookout’s work.
  • Ability to think through visuals that will aid storytelling and work with colleagues to activate them.
  • Demonstrated adaptability, especially with new topical coverage areas and communities.
  • Comfort learning new technology and experience working in content management systems, producing, editing and dressing stories with related media (photos, videos, etc).
  • Comfort with the format of Lookout’s correspondent-focused model, and the personality it brings to the work.
  • Desire to work in an entrepreneurial, fast-growth startup environment, embracing the agility and flexibility required to thrive within a new business.
  • Bilingual abilities are a plus.
  • Data reporting skills are a plus.
  • Audio/video experience is a plus.

Benefits and Application

The Education Correspondent is a full-time Lookout Local employee. We offer competitive employee benefits.Lookout Local is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.

As we interact with the public on a regular basis, a vaccination against COVID-19 is required for employment absent documented disability or religious reasons.

Please apply, with cover letter and resume to jobs@lookoutlocal.com.

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